This week, the library will screen David Mamet’s mysterious “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997, rated PG). The plot is a classic, fast-moving confidence game, complete with exotic resorts, airplanes, buses, boats, pretty secretaries and Swiss bank accounts.
Campbell Scott plays Joe Ross, the quiet, trustworthy, brainy protagonist/victim — the “Boy Scout” hero who just wants everyone to do what’s right. He has developed a secret process that will earn untold millions for his company and its investors.
Nervous he won’t receive a fair bonus for his work, he begins pressing his boss for some tangible assurance.
His company’s loquacious secretary, Susan Ricci (Rebecca Pidgeon), supports him wholeheartedly, as does his pensive colleague George Lang (Ricky Jay). Otherwise, he receives little encouragement.
In the midst of his employment insecurities, Ross strikes up a funny friendship with Jimmy Dell (Steve Martin), a rich stranger with a tennis-loving sister that he would like Ross, who is a bachelor, to meet.
Ross is curious about both siblings, and is drawn into a rather elaborate and quickly escalating set of circumstances.